The Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights called for the removal and issuance of summons to Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Shaikh, on Wednesday.
This was urged during a meeting of the committee, chaired by PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, wherein the Lahore motorway gang-rape incident was discussed.
Although the Lahore CCPO was summoned in this regard, he did not appear before the committee. The Senate members expressed their severe displeasure over Shaikh’s absence.
“The CCPO is so influential that he is not accountable to the parliament,” said Senator Khokhar. “He violated the prestige of the committee by not attending the committee meeting; a motion will be brought against this,” he added.
The Senate human rights committee had directed the CCPO to appear at its meeting in person, but Sheikh failed to do so without notifying the body of a reason.
“Has the CCPO descended from the sky?” asked Khokhar. “Top officials are present here but the CCPO did not show up.” He added that the police officer’s absence was “unacceptable”.
The chairman further observed that the committee would use its civil court powers against the CCPO. “The CCPO’s bail money can also be confiscated,” he said. “This will be the first time in the committee’s history that it will be exercising this power,” Khokhar stated.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Motorway Dr Kaleem Imam appeared before the committee and claimed that the incident did not occur on the motorway. He added that the victim called the motorway helpline at 2am, but it was not the motorway police’s emergency number. “We were not responsible for providing security at the place where the rape took place,” the IG claimed. Earlier, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda had also requested to attend the meeting of the Senate’s committee. But the chairman refused to give permission due to the opposition of the committee’s members. The federal minister had to leave the committee room following the member’s protest.